Saturday, January 16, 2021
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Barrie

Christian, retired dentist, bookseller. Author - book to be published Nov/Dec 2012. Married to Wendy. 6 daughters. We host 'Liberty!' - a church in our home. Frettenham, Norfolk UK

My Norfolk Birds

Below is an excerpt from my ‘soon to be published’ (well, later this year) book, with provisional title BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk. It is not a very spiritual tome, though my spiritual journey is, in essence, tucked into the final chapter. But here is the opening of chapter three. Chapter Three My Norfolk Birds Chased by ‘the hag’, ravished in a tunnel, snogging behind a gooseberry bush, and Mrs. Starling’s beak. It was 1960, and at fifteen, coming up to sixteen, newly acquired hormones were tumbling through my veins, and I was trying to discover my …

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BIG BLUE SKY

I never meant to write a book – and then my first one was published. And now my seventh was not really intended, but perhaps a result of the pandemic lockdown. The title has changed around 7 times, and although I have gone through the manuscript around 20 times (and Wendy once and friend Jonnie once), it might still have a few tweaks when the usual proofreader has done his stuff. BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk is the current title and looks like it’s here to stay. I was born in Norfolk over 76 years ago, and have …

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Coypu! (Extract from my latest book, ‘A SHIVER IN MY FINGER’ – to be published 2021)

It was February 1961. We had cycled, and now we walked. Stealthily. We followed the tracks through the snow. It was four-footed, and quite heavy. Not as heavy as a deer, but more than a rabbit or a hare. We followed those tracks for a mile or two, until they went into a hollow tree lying in the snow. They did not come out the other side. We had it cornered. Catching live mice with my bare hands was my idea of excitement, adventure and achievement. Well, bare hands the first time, when I was bitten; subsequently, gloved hands. I …

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June and June!

The following is an extract from my (hopefully) forthcoming book, which is tales and anecdotes, and brief historical facts gleaned from living most of my 76 years in Norfolk. If you don’t know Norfolk, this might seem a little strange! Jackie was a local lady, and always had been. Narwich, as she pronounced it, had been her home from birth. My wife had met her at a ladies fellowship while we were living in the city, and as a result we were both invited to a social event at the local Methodist church where Jackie was a member. An invitation …

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Dry and empty – when suddenly…

“I’m dry. I’m empty,” has been my response recently when people have asked me if I am currently writing a book. You see, you have to have a book ‘in you’, and writing it is ‘letting it out’. And since my last book was published back in 2018, I’ve been empty. Which has been providential (mustn’t say lucky, mustn’t say fortunate, and not sure about fortuitous), because I’ve been a busy chap. Almost too busy, at times. A few Christmas dinners to speak at towards the end of 2019, and all in the West Country or Wales, and too spaced …

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Farsi?

Farsi? I had heard of the language Farsi, and might have guessed at Iran being the nation primarily to use it. But Wendy and I have not been to Iran, and in some respects, it is something of a blind spot. Some people seem to think that writing books is a lucrative exercise. And it is for some, but most authors cannot make a living from just writing. It was 2 or 3 years ago, when having parked my car at a gathering of dental colleagues, one looked at it and said, “I’m going to start writing books!”. I think …

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THE ACORN TREE!

It was a relation, of sorts. I will name no names, and keep my head down. I was walking around the garden with her (there’s a clue) and we were standing under the large tree towards the top of the garden. “This oak tree is probably hundreds of years old,” I remarked. “That’s not an oak tree,” came the reply. “It’s an acorn tree.” “It’s oak,” I said, without pausing and counting to ten, as would have been prudent. “That’s no oak tree.” There was passion, because she knew she was right. “It’s an acorn tree.” And then she delivered …

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I AM A BARRIER!

“Hey Bud, what is your real name?” asked a heavily armed ‘official’ man at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Wendy and I were travelling to Guadelajara, Mexico’s second city. We had intended going on a holiday to Malaysia, but felt that instead, we should ‘give our holiday to God’ and serve Him elsewhere. A long story, but we went to Guadalajara, volunteering to do whatever was necessary, from cleaning toilets to preaching the gospel. (They were gracious, and did not invite us to the toilets). We flew to Dallas, and then on to Mexico. But in Dallas airport, I was stopped. …

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I’m a wine-bibber???

“He’s a wine-bibber. Be careful.” Somebody was being warned about me! A chap who I’d known for years, had come to a meeting at our home. We sang, worshipped, read the Bible and prayed. And chatted and laughed. A day or two later he saw one of the leaders of his church (a great gospel preaching church, full of lovely people – but also somewhat legalistic), and told him he’d been to a meeting at our home. And the leader advised him to be careful – ‘cos Barrie is a wine-bibber!’ The next time the chap was round at our …

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Our Wonderful NHS!

WHAT A WONDERFUL NHS we have in the U.K. Wendy and I don’t do ‘sick’, and although I am 75, and Wendy a few years younger, an average of 8 miles walking a day does not seem too much of a challenge. But something happened to Wendy’s leg on Tuesday. Pain, and unable to stand or walk. The local doctor prescribed stronger pain killers immediately, but they did not help. Then, the helpful man on 111 said to go to A&E at our local hospital. We were seen within 5 minutes. A really reassuring examination, and out well within 30 …

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